VISTA — Dozens of cities throughout the state have approved resolutions pushing back against the Trump administration’s calls to expand offshore drilling and exploration.
During its March 12 meeting, the Vista City Council was the latest city to approve a resolution against the administration’s plans.
Despite being an inland city, the resolution has garnered attention for the traditional conservative city. Deputy Mayor John Franklin brought the item forward, which called for opposing offshore drilling.
“Our coastline is unspoiled and all of us are concerned about our coastal environment,” Franklin said. “We are all concerned about our coastal habitat and wildlife, and we all share concern about any potential threat to that wildlife or habitat. I think it’s important we raise our voices and express that concern.”
The resolution states city residents and visitors enjoy the states beaches for all purposes, which also contribute to local economies. In addition, sea life depends on a healthy environment, thus leading the city to push back on plans to expand drilling off California’s coastline, especially in San Diego County.
“Offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration off the Pacific coast has the potential to put these coastal resources, and the communities and industries that depend on them, at risk,” part of the resolution reads.
Councilwoman Corinna Contreras said despite Vista having no coastline, its proximity to the beach made it easy for regular childhood trips. In addition, seeing offshore rigs and seepage from those is suspicious, in addition to the threat of spills, which would cripple the wildlife, habitat and local economies.
Brady Bradshaw, campaign organizer for Oceana, a nonprofit ocean advocacy group, said he was thrilled with the council’s decision. With Vista joining the movement, there are now 90 cities in California who have passed such resolutions and more than 340 nationwide.
“It was great to see,” Bradshaw said. “It makes sense because Vista is so close to the coast. So many residents spoke and were well-informed.”
National City and Coronado are the only two coastal cities in San Diego County to have not passed a resolution. The county recently passed its own resolution, while the city of San Marcos voted to indefinitely table the discussion.
Regardless, Vista decided it was time to support its coastal neighbors as the council and 10 residents noted numerous reasons to oppose drilling.
“We support this and our beaches,” Mayor Judy Ritter added.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.